The Jewish community in Cairo celebrated the Jewish New Year 5784, commonly known as Rosh Hashanah, at the Vitali Madjar Synagogue in Heliopolis, which has been closed for decades.
The celebration, held on Friday, marks the first time in 70 years the Jewish community has been able to celebrate Rosh Hashanah at this synagogue. It was cleaned and restored by the Drop of Milk Association, which aims to preserve and celebrate Egypt’s rich Jewish heritage.
The ceremony was attended by the head of the Jewish community in Egypt, Magda Haroun, as well as other members of the Drop of Milk Association, including women’s rights activist Soraya Bahgat.
In 2017, the Vitali Madjar Synagogue saw cleaning and repairing for the first time in 50 years.
Cairo was formerly the center of Jewish life in Egypt, it’s Jewish population roughly accounting to 80,000 by the mid-20th century. In the 1950s, Egypt saw a massive Jewish exodus, and most of Egypt’s Jewry became outcasted as a byproduct of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Today, Haroun aims to revive Egypt’s Jewish heritage, with plans to host cultural events that can honor the history, present, and future.